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September 5, 2022

Gremolata: An Easy Way to Add Flavor

Have you tried gremolata?  Last week the Mellor family celebrated Lee’s birthday at The Appalachian http://Www.theappalachianrestaurant.com in Sevierville.  If you have not been there, it is one of the restaurants we highly recommend, if you are not eating at Buckhorn Inn, of course!  Anyway, Lee and I both had a lovely trout dish.  The fish was split open and deboned and cooked perfectly.  It was topped with pickled onions, fresh greens and gremolata.

Gremolata is an Italian green sauce with chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic.  It is a close cousin to pesto sauce.  It added a zesty note to our trout, and we thought it would be delicious in a variety of dishes.  You can easily create variations on this sauce.  For example, you could substitute lime, orange or grapefruit zest for the lemon.  You might want to add cilantro, mint, sage, or another herb to the parsley.  And adding some Parmesan cheese, walnuts or toasted pine nuts would give a new, and delicious, flavor profile to this versatile topping.  If you like a bit of spice, crushed red pepper or horseradish would be a great add-in.  

Classic Gremolata

1 small bunch of parsley, rinsed and dried. (About 1 cup of loosely-packed leaves.)

1 clove of garlic

2 lemons, washed and dried

Very finely chop the parsley.  Finely grate the garlic over the parsley.  Grate the zest from the two lemons over the garlic and parsley.  Continue to chop the ingredients, mixing it all together, until the texture is very fine.  The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for a day.  This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.

Classic gremolata enhances a variety of dishes.

Lemon, herbs and garlic make for a flavorful sauce.

This sauce is wonderful on top of grilled meat or fish.  But you could also try it on top of a creamy bisque, roasted root vegetables, cooked greens, creamy polenta, or any other dish that needs a bright pop of flavor and color.  

Let us know how YOU use  this recipe!

August 15, 2022

Tudor Mountain Honey Harvest Under Way

This weekend we harvested honey from one of our hives.  Several guests have asked us about the process.  Earlier in the summer, we placed a “super” on top of our hive.  The super is a small box.  It sits on top of a “queen excluder” so that no eggs will be laid in the super.  When all the frames are covered with honey comb capped in white wax, it is time to harvest.

We don our protective gear and give the bees some gentle puffs from our smoker.  The smoke keeps them calm by interfering with their sense of smell.  They can’t detect the alarm pheromones being released and thus will not aggressively defend their hive against us.  We take out each honey-laden frame, gently brush off the bees, and place it in a covered box.  Once we have collected all the frames, it is time for extraction.

Honey Extraction

Tudor Mountain Honey tastes of local flowers.

The scratcher is used to remove the white wax cap from the honeycomb.

We extract the honey on our screened porch so that we keep the stickiness confined to one area, and so that the bees cannot reach us!  The first stop is to use a scratcher to remove the wax capping from the cells.  We then scrape the honey and wax into a fine-mesh sieve atop a collection bucket.  Once the honey has been filtered once, we do a second filtration through cheese cloth and then it is on to bottling!

This year’s honey is a beautiful gold amber color and we can’t wait to see how the Buckhorn Inn chefs use it!  We will clean the beeswax and then use it to make candles.  More on that process later.

We are careful to only take the extra honey.  Our bees need adequate stores to get them through the winter.

In celebration of our harvest, we are offering this simple summer cocktail recipe.  Cheers!

The Bee’s Knees

2 ounces gin

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake until chilled.  Strain into a glass.  Makes one cocktail.

 

July 19, 2022

Recipes for Grill-Out Favorites for Summer Suppers

We tried two new recipes out on Lee and our friends Sam and Lucy over the Fourth of July weekend.  They were both hits, so I am passing them along to you.  Both can be prepped early and held, so that you can spend more time with your guests.  The Greenbrier House Grillmaster, Jack, rounded out the main course with roasted potatoes.  For a red, white and blue dessert, I served vanilla bean ice cream with wild blueberry sauce and strawberries that had marinated in limoncello.  A bottle of Spanish Cava added some sparkle to our evening!

Summer Supper Recipes

Zucchini and Tomato Packets

3 medium zucchini and/or summer squash, sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 t olive oil

1 t dried oregano

1/2 t dried basil

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 c crumbled feta cheese

This recipe features tomatoes and squash from our garden.

Garden-fresh vegetables are delicious in this recipe. Photo by Kamala Bright.

Combine zucchini, tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Pour onto a sheet of heavy duty foil.  Fold top and ends to form a packet.  Grill for 12 minutes on a medium-high grill.  Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  Makes six servings.  Note:  This recipe also works well in the oven.  Place the foil packet on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

Grilled Tilapia with Zesty Mustard Sauce

2 T olive oil

2 T butter at room temperature

1 t Dijon mustard

1/2 t grated lemon peel

1/2 t Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t black pepper

4 fish fillets (about 4 oz each)

1 1/2 t paprika

1/4 t salt

1/2 lemon

2 T minced fresh parsley

Lightly oil a grill basket. Combine butter, mustard, lemon peel, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.  Stir until blended and set aside.  Sprinkle both sides of fish with paprika and salt.  Grill fish, in oiled basket, over high heat.  Cook about 6 minutes, turning halfway through.  The fish will flake easily when done.  Remove to a serving platter.  Squeeze lemon over hot fish and top each fillet with butter mixture.  Garnish with Parsley.  Makes four servings.

April 16, 2022

French Toast for a Special Occasion Breakfast

In the springtime we celebrate moms, dads, grads, newlyweds and many others. At Buckhorn Inn we love to celebrate with a scrumptious breakfast.

Perhaps no dish is so closely associated with Buckhorn Inn as is our Bananas Foster French Toast. Do you know who the
“Foster” is in Bananas Foster? In the 1950’s New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Brennan’s Restaurant owner Owen Brennan challenged his chef Paul Blange to create a new dish featuring bananas. Chef Paul created the flamed dessert and it was served at Brennan’s for the first time. The dessert is named for Richard Foster who served as chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission and led the civic effort to clean up the French Quarter. Foster was a frequent diner at Brennan’s. Here is our recipe for Bananas Foster French Toast.

And in case you are really celebrating, I have included a recipe for Champagne Royale!

 

 

Toast
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. Milk
1/4 c. Sugar
1 t. Vanilla
6 slices French Bread
Mix the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Dip French bread slices in mixture and cook in butter
until brown on both sides, about five minutes.

Sauce
2 T. Butter
2 T. Brown Sugar
1 banana, sliced
Powdered sugar
Bring butter and brown sugar to a fast boil. Add banana slices, stirring constantly. Cook
mixture until bananas begin to caramelize. Spoon onto French toast. Sprinkle with powdered
sugar and serve immediately.

Champagne Royale
1 bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
6 teaspoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
Fresh raspberries
Pour 1 teaspoon of Chambord into each of six Champagne glasses. Fill with Champagne.
Place several raspberries in each glass.

April 1, 2022

The Chicken or the Egg? The Chicken!

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Well here at Buckhorn Inn, the answer is the chicken!  We are starting our own little flock of laying hens.  While we can’t produce enough eggs to satisfy the needs of our kitchen, we will be using our own eggs in your breakfast dishes and baked goods.

A happy, healthy chick grows into a healthy chicken.

Thanks to Brian David for the picture of these healthy and happy chicks.

We will be picking up our chicks from the Farmers Co-op this Saturday.  We are looking for a sturdy breed and will take our pick from the newly hatched chicks.  Baby chicks are so darn cute that I will have to exercise self-restraint…otherwise I will come home with all of them!

We have a brooder set up with a heat source to keep the chicks warm and safe for their first six weeks or so.  Then they will be transferred to our new coop.  Our coop will be outfitted with roosts, nesting boxes, food and water dispensers, and an outdoor yard.  Hmm, a bed and breakfast for chickens?  

I also plan to try out a technique I have read about:  Placing a few herb sprigs in each nesting box.  Aromatherapy for my flock?  Maybe!  But I have read that herbs may help discourage flies and mites.  And some herbs may act as laying stimulants.    So I will try some rosemary, basil and mint sprigs and let you know how the girls like them! 

Perfect Poached Eggs

In anticipation of all of those fresh eggs, here is a technique for perfect poached eggs.  You can find a video of Alton Brown poaching eggs on http://Www.food network.com

Heat enough water to be 1 inch deep in your pan.  Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar.  Bring water to a simmer over medium heat.  Crack a large, fresh, cold egg into a ramekin.  Use a spoon to stir the simmering water in one direction until it is spinning smoothly.  Carefully drop the egg into the middle of the “whirlpool” you have created.  Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and wait for 5 minutes.  Lift out the egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.

 

February 5, 2022

A Pear-Perfect Winter Recipe

I rarely order dessert as I usually am not in the mood for something sweet after a meal. I am,
however, very fond of ending a meal with a cheese plate. In France the cheese course comes
after the main course and before dessert, but I find I usually enjoy it in lieu of dessert.
I used a cheese course as inspiration for a Wednesday dessert I made this October. I made a
pear tart with a cheddar cheese crust and a cheese streusel topping. I carried the idea further
by serving it with a candied pear slice and toasted pecans. Several kind guests told me how
much they enjoyed it. The pears are the star of this dish and bring the sweetness. You may
use your favorite variety, but be sure they are ripe but firm. The Cheddar brings a bit of salt
and tang—use a good quality cheese. This dish also could be served as a brunch dish. I hope
you enjoy this taste of winter!

 

 

Pear and Cheddar Tart
Crust
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 to 6 teaspoons of ice water
Chill shortening in freezer for 15 minutes. Place flour, shortening, salt, sugar and cheese into a
food processor. Pulse 6 or 8 times until the mixture resembles peas. Add 4 teaspoons of ice
water. Pulse until the dough holds together—adding additional water if it seems dry. Form
dough into a disk and refrigerate until cold. Roll out dough between waxed paper. Peel off the
paper and fit the dough into a 10” tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the edges. Line the
crust with foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 F on
the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights—the edges of the
dough will stick a bit to the foil so you will need to use a knife to carefully loosen it. Return the
crust to the oven for 13 to 15 minutes. It will be golden. Cool on a rack.
Filling and Topping
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1//2 lbs. pears
Mix together butter, flour, sugar, salt and cheese until crumbly. Peel pears, cut in half and core,
and cut into 3/4” thick slices. Arrange slices very close together in crust. Sprinkle cheese
mixture over top. Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Bake in 400 F oven on bottom rack for 35
to 40 minutes. The streusel will be brown and the pears tender. Remove sides of pan before
serving. Best served warm. Makes 8 servings.

October 11, 2021

Recipe for “Buckhorn Brew” Mulled Wine

I always associate mulled wine with happy occasions.  The first time I was introduced to this splendid drink was when Jack and I lived in Chicago.  It was a cold December evening and we were visiting the Christkindlmarket

This mulled wine is flavored with apple cider, honey and spices.

My mulled wine recipe is perfect for crisp fall evenings. Photo by Edward Howell.

http://Www.christkindlmarket.com in Daley Plaza. It was gently snowing and we were surrounded by sparkling holiday lights, the sound of festive music, and the aromas of roasted nuts and spiced wine.  The mug of wine warmed my hands, the scent delighted my nose, and the flavors tickled my taste buds.  Since then, I have made hot spiced wine for my family’s Christmas Eve Celebrations.

This October we are offering my autumn mulled wine in our sitting room on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.  If it meets with a positive response we will continue through November.  My recipe is full of fall flavors:  dry and fruity red wine, apple cider, honey, orange, and a variety of warm spices.  I recommend making it and serving it in a crock pot.  If you are entertaining a crowd this recipe may be doubled.   If you have any leftover, it may be kept in the refrigerator for a few days then gently reheated.

Use your favorite red wine in this recipe.  I prefer a somewhat dry Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of dark fruit and firm tannins as I like the way it blends with the other ingredients.

Buckhorn Brew Mulled Wine Recipe

1 bottle red wine (Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon all work well)

3 cups of apple cider

1/4 cup honey

1 orange, sliced

5 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

Add the wine, cider, and honey to a slow cooker.  Stir to be sure honey dissolves.  Put the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to the cooker.  Float slices of orange on the top.  Cook on low for 45 minutes to an hour.  When ready to serve, turn the slow cooker to the “keep warm” setting.  Ladle into mugs and garnish with an orange slice and/or a cinnamon stick.  Makes 6-7 servings.

I hope this aromatic drink helps you to welcome autumn to your house!

 

 

August 10, 2021

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Our new cookbook includes the recipe for Chef Bob’s creation, Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake. We include this recipe by popular demand—when it is served for breakfast practically everyone wants the recipe!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Coffeecake

1 1/2 c pitted dates, chopped
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9 x 13” cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. In a small saucepan cover the dates with one cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda; mixture will foam up. Let cool slightly. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In 2 alternating batches beat in the dry ingredients and date mixture until must incorporated. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a rack and peel off the parchment. Carefully return the cake, top side down, to the pan. Using a skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in the cake. Pour half the warm sauce over the cake and let stand until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Invert onto a platter and poke another 15 to 20 holes in the top. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Serve warm.

Sauce

1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c heavy cream
2 t brandy
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt

While the cake is cooling make the sauce. Bring the brown sugar, butter and heavy cream to boil over moderate heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, continually whisking. Remove from heat and whisk in brandy, vanilla, and salt. Keep warm.

July 20, 2021

Treasured Buckhorn Inn Recipes Available in Cookbook

Our new cookbook “A Treasury of Buckhorn Inn Recipes” is available from our office.  This edition was published in memory of John Mellor who served as Innkeeper from 1998 to 2020.  This cookbook provides recipes for old favorites, new additions to our menu, and a few treasured Mellor family recipes.  It includes guides to local attractions and information on the provenance of some of our recipes.  Copies are available in our gift shop or by calling our office.  We hope you enjoy it!  

Dinner guests love the variety of fish preparations on our menu.  One key is delicious and flavorful sauces.

Our cookbook contains many recipes for delicious fish dishes.

Flavorful sauces up the taste of fish dishes.

Below are two easy recipes from the new publication.

Tropical Fruit Salsa for Fish

1 c. Papaya, peeled and finely diced

1/2 Mango, peeled and finely diced

1/2 c. White onion, finely chopped

3 T. Fresh cilantro, chopped

1 T. Orange juice

1 T. Lime juice

1/2 t. Jalapeño, minced

1/2 t. Salt

Stir together all ingredients.  Makes about two cups.  This refreshing salsa is delicious with grilled snapper, pan-seared cod, or other simply prepared fish.

Roasted Pepper Aioli for Fried Fish

1/4 c. Canned, fire-roasted red peppers, drained

1/2 c. Mayonnaise

1 T. Fresh chives, minced

2 t. Lemon juice

1 t. Garlic, minced

Chop the red peppers.  Purée with the other ingredients until smooth.  Makes about half of a cup.  This flavorful aioli also is delicious with crab cakes!

June 13, 2021

It’s Grilling Season

Grilling dinner is one of life’s greatest pleasures—surpassed only by eating the grilled dinner! Marinating a chuck roast and basting it with maple barbecue sauce will turn the inexpensive meat into a tender, flavorful dish.

A nice big Zinfandel will stand up to the smoky flavors of this barbecue delight. Another option might be a peppery Australian Shiraz. And if you are grilling on a hot summer day, try a fruity, refreshing red wine sangria!

See recipe below.

 

 

 

Marinated Chuck Roast
1 onion, chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. soy sauce
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. honey
1 ¼ c. beef broth
1 blade chuck roast, about 3 lb.
Maple barbecue sauce

Stir together onion, oil, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, rosemary, honey and broth. Place the roast in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Turn. Cover and refrigerate 36 hours, turning once. Bring to room temperature in marinade about 2 hours before cooking.

Preheat grill. Remove roast from marinade and grill 4 to 6 inches over hot coals. Baste with barbecue sauce and turn as needed. Cook about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 130 for medium rare or 145 for medium. Remove from grill and let rest before serving. Slice thinly and serve with additional barbecue sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Maple Barbecue Sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
½ c. white distilled vinegar
¼ c. sugar
3 c. ketchup
¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 c. maple syrup
1 c. water
½ c. red wine vinegar
10 garlic cloves, minced
4 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 t. A-1 sauce
1 t. black pepper
½ t. paprika
¼ t. cayenne pepper
¼ t. salt

Heat oil and sauté onion until soft. Add white vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, water, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Simmer for about an hour. It will thicken slightly. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or store in the refrigerator.